HOW TO STORE YOUR MOWER FOR WINTER
Easy winter lawn mower maintenance
Storing your outdoor power equipment correctly is extremely critical for anything with an engine. If avoided, you risk serious mechanical and or performance issues when it's time to use the machine next spring. To help ensure your mower starts and performs its best, we compiled a list of must-do winter storage procedures.
Before starting these procedures on your own, refresh your knowledge on important safety practices and procedural instructions in the operator's manual for your unit.
1. Stabilize lawn mower fuel
If anything tops the list in terms of storage importance, it's stabilizing your fuel. At Gravely, the most common maintenance issues we learn about are those related to deteriorated fuel that clogs the fuel system.Gasoline breaks down in as little as two weeks, let alone the two or three months during seasonal storage. When fuel deteriorates, it turns to a gel-like substance, clogs your fuel system and prevents your engine from starting or running. Not only does this cost downtime, it leads to unserved clients and repair bills.
Adding a quality fuel stabilizer to your gasoline prevents fuel from deteriorating and helps you avoid problematic issues.
How to stabilize gasoline:
a. If your mower has fresh fuel (gasoline purchased less than two weeks ago), estimate how much fuel is in the tank. You will need to know that quantity to correctly calculate the amount of fuel stabilizer needed.
b. Add fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank (or tanks) according to the instructions on the fuel stabilizer packet or bottle.
c. Start the engine and operate the mower for about ten minutes to incorporate the stabilizer throughout the fuel system.
d. If the mower has a carbureted engine, keep the engine running, close the fuel valve and allow the engine to stop on its own. If it's an EFI engine, simply switch the key to the off position and remove it.
e. After the engine stops, turn the key to the off position and remove the key.
You can purchase fuel stabilizer online or visit your nearest Gravely dealer.
How ethanol fuels can cause fuel-related issues
Ethanol is a solvent and can dissolve varnish buildup in older engines, and when that varnish breaks loose, those deposits can travel through the fuel system and clog it.
How to avoid ethanol related issues
Fuel blends with an ethanol content of 10% or less are technically acceptable in small engines, including those that power Gravely lawn mowers. If you use ethanol-blended fuels in your equipment, add a fuel stabilizer plus ethanol treatment to your fuel.
If you've never done this before, it's simple, but remember, it’s critical to follow the instructions exactly as they're outlined above for effective results.
Can fuel stabilizer be added to old gas?
Fuel cannot be rejuvenated. If the fuel in your mower tank was pumped fresh more than two weeks ago, either drain and dispose of it responsibly, or use it now. After the fuel is expelled from the tank, add fresh fuel to the tank or tanks and stabilize according to the instructions below to help flush old fuel residue out of the fuel system.
Remember, in carbureted engines, fuel needs to fit through the tiny hole in the carburetor jet, and it only takes the smallest bit of bad fuel to clog it – which is why it’s SO important to prep your mower for winter.
2. Change lawn mower oil
After a full season of use, your engine needs an oil change and a new oil filter.
Oil changes are easy to perform and they don’t take much time. The engine is your power plant and it needs to be protected so it can continue to perform well and reliably. Though performing an oil change isn't absolutely necessary before storing outdoor power equipment, it’s good to do it now when it’s top-of-mind, and it removes something you would otherwise need to do at the beginning of the next mowing season.
How to change lawn mower oil:
A brief outline for engine oil changes are listed below. For the full oil change details, reference the instructions in the engine manual for your unit.
a. Remove the drain plug and allow oil to drain into a container. Use a funnel if necessary.
b. Once drained, reinstall the drain plug and tighten to the specification in the manual.
c. Remove the oil filter, allow the oil to drain from the filter and into a container and dispose the filter.
d. Dip the tip of your finger in the used oil and apply a thin layer of oil around the rubber gasket of the new oil filter.
e. Install the new oil filter and tighten according to the specifications in the manual.
f. Remove the cover from the engine fill port and add the correct volume and type of engine oil listed in the manual.
g. Reinstall the fill port cover.
h. With the parking brake on, start the mower and visually inspect the engine to ensure oil isn't leaking. Stop the engine when you confirm oil isn't leaking from the drain plug or around the filter.
3. When to change a lawn mower air filter
Lawn mower air filters should be checked before storage and replaced, if necessary. Like oil changes, it’s not necessary to complete before storage, but as long as it’s top-of-mind right now, you might as well do it.
Why you should change a lawn mower air filter
a. Air filters protect engines. Clogged air filters don’t.
Dust, dirt and other debris sucked in through an engine’s air intake can damage the engine, which is why each engine has an air filter. As the engine ‘inhales,’ the filter catches debris and prevents it from entering the engine and harming its delicate components.
Even the smallest airborne particles can damage an engine. And while the engine air filter does its job catching these particles, it collects so much debris over time that it becomes full and less effective.
b. Clogged air filters reduce power and efficiency and increases fuel consumption.
A dirty air filter's restricted airflow makes an engine work harder (using more gasoline) and reduces its efficiency. That’s why it’s important to check the filter regularly and replace it when needed.
4. Change lawn mower hydro oil
Like engine oil, transmission fluid needs to be changed annually or at the intervals listed in your manual.
Combustion doesn’t occur inside a transaxle, however the friction of the mechanics inside the unit create heat and degrade the oil. Commercial lawn mowers that are operating as much as 12 hours per day must have their transaxle oil changed multiple times throughout the mowing season – or however often as outlined in your unit's operator's manual – which is usually after the first 75 hours of operation and every 400 hours thereafter.
Now that you're at the end of your season, chances are it’s time to change it. And if you have some downtime, let’s do it now so you don’t have to at the start of the season.
The instructions below are just an outline, so refer to the operator’s manual for complete details.
How to change lawn mower hydro oil:
a. Operate the unit for a few minutes to warm the fluid.
b. Stop the unit and wait for hot parts to cool.
c. Remove the transaxle filter guards, if equipped.
d. Remove oil filters, drain filters and dispose.
e. Remove the fill plugs from transaxles.
f. Wipe the filter mounting surfaces clean.
g. Lubricate rubber gasket on new oil filters with hydraulic oil.
h. Install filters onto transaxles and torque to specification.
i. Reinstall filter guards with original hardware and torque to specification.
j. Add the correct type of hydraulic oil to the transaxles until oil appears at the bottom of the oil fill openings.
k. Reinstall oil fill plugs and torque to specification.
l. Add hydraulic oil to the expansion tanks until fluid level meets the cold fill line.
m. Purge the hydraulic system according to instructions in manual.
5. Connect battery charger
Seasonal battery storage is important; connect a battery trickle charger or battery tender to your lawn mower battery to keep it healthy.
If you own a motorcycle or other seasonal recreational equipment, you might be familiar with this procedure. When not used for extended periods, batteries in cars, recreational and outdoor power equipment can discharge and lose their charge capacity. To keep your battery in good health for next season, connect a battery tender or trickle charger to the battery.
Battery tenders are different from trickle chargers. A trickle charger applies a constant, weak charge to the battery and keeps it fully charged through the offseason. Battery tenders charge a battery, stop charging once the battery reaches a full charge, and then start charging again when the battery drops below a certain voltage.
Both options are good solutions for maintaining a mower's battery health, but some resources suggest a battery tender is the better option because the constant charge from a trickle charger can damage the battery.
6. Clean the lawn mower deck
Grass, dirt and debris buildup under the deck and around the spindles can rust and corrode critical mower deck components, affect the mower's performance, cut quality, and your reputation as a landscape professional.
How to clean the mower deck:
Remove the blades according to the instructions in your operator’s manual before cleaning the deck.
If you don’t have a lift or a system where you can safely access the underside of the deck, you can remove the deck from the chassis very easily. Deck removal instructions are listed in the operator’s manual for your unit, but a general outline is available below:
a. Remove the PTO belt from around the clutch.
b. Disconnect the deck lift linkages.
c. Disconnect the deck mounting arms.
d. Remove the deck from under the unit.
e. Carefully remove the blades.
f. Clean the debris from under the deck with low-pressure water. Using high-pressure water can damage certain components.
How to remove rust from a lawn mower:
If you see rust forming on bare metal areas under your deck, remove it with an abrasive tool like sandpaper, clean the area and cover it with touch-up paint.
Learn how to remove a Gravely mower deck.
Check mower belts and blades
It’s not critical for storage maintenance, but if the deck is removed, it's an opportunity to check blade condition and to sharpen according to the instructions in your operator's manual.
If blades are damaged or worn too much, replace them. Also, check your belts for signs of wear and replace if necessary.
Replacement Gravely commercial lawn mower parts
Our objective to providing a comprehensive checklist for seasonal maintenance is to help keep your Gravely mower running as good as the first time you used it. Keep your gravely performing at its best with:
• Fuel care / stabilization
• Regular engine oil and oil filter changes
• Regular transaxle oil and oil filter changes
• Regular air filter changes
• Regular cleaning
• Regular blade sharpening
• Regular lubrication around the caster wheels
To find genuine OEM Gravely parts and accessories, visit M&D Enterprises and Lawnmower Shops.
Every tool and every machine needs regular maintenance in order to work perfectly and chainsaw isn't an exception. Chainsaw maintenance is essential if you want your chainsaw to last for years to come. Regular chainsaw maintenance also prevents critical failures that can lead to injuries.
Keep the air filter clean
Maintaining the air filter in crisp condition is among the most vital things the chainsaw owner can do to extend the saw’s useful life and enhance performance. Cleaning the air filter is the only deterrent against the engine downing dirt and sawdust which can cork the carburetor and result in the saw starting hard and running poorly. Contaminants also damage the piston rings resulting in loss of compression, consequently reducing power. Most saws come with a screen instead of a paper filter or foam. For saws with a paper filter or foam, replace it regularly.
Chainsaw bar problems are mostly related to incorrect chain tensioning, poor lubrication or faulty working techniques. The area of the bar most exposed to wear is the underside of the bar, where most of the cutting is done. To keep your bar in top shape you should turn the guide bar every time the chain is changed so that it will wear evenly. Also, you should clean the guide bar groove and oil inlet regularly and file away burrs from the bar rails.
No matter how well you maintain it, at a certain time it will be necessary to change the bar. You should buy a new bar if the bar groove is not deep enough to hold the drive link. You must check that at the most worn part on the rail. Also, you should change the bar if the chain is not kept straight up in the groove.
Chain lubrication is one of the most important things in chainsaw maintenance. You may not know this, but poor lubrication is a major cause of premature wear. You should check and refill the chain oil every time you refuel. Always use original chain oil because it has been developed to provide good lubrication for your chainsaw no matter how hard the wood is or how cold it is. You can check if your lubrication system is operating properly simply by starting a chainsaw, hold it over a stump and rev up the engine. If there is a line of oil on the stump, the chainsaw lubrication system is running properly. If there isn’t a line on the stump, you should check up the oil level and check the nozzle which can be clogged with sawdust.
Proper chain tensioning
Ensure your saw’s chain is tensioned correctly. A loose chain may veer off the guide bar and may injure you and ruin the machine. Also, an unduly tightened chain may cause an untimely corrosion of the guide bar. Tension is okay when the chain is touching the bottom of the guide bar while still allowing you to pull it easily by hand. Don’t forget to let the chain cool before adjusting the chain tension. When the chain cools off, it will shrink.
Conditioning a new chain
When it is time to change the chain, prepare the new chain by drenching it in bar and chain oil to ensure that all pivot points are perfectly lubricated. After a couple of hours, hang the chain, preferably from a nail to let the surplus oil drip away. Lodge and tension the chain. Run it until it warms up. As the chain heats it loosens, consequently, stop the chain and tension it once more. Run a few light-duty chores like cutting small branches and limbs for about half an hour. Tighten the chain again, and you are ready for the heavy-duty tasks.
Use non-ethanol gasoline
You may not know this but most gasoline these days contains ethanol, and ethanol is the bane of small engines. If you use gasoline with ethanol in your chainsaw, over time the ethanol in the gas absorbs moisture from the atmosphere, and this ethanol-water mix separates and sinks in your gas tank. This ethanol-water mix corrodes metal and gums up small engine carburetors. You should find and use all-petroleum-based gasoline. Most of the pumps have non-ethanol gasoline so it shouldn’t be a problem to acquire. But if you can’t find non ethanol gasoline, then use the gas which contains ethanol but add a stabilizing additive. No matter what option you choose, the most important thing is to only use fresh gas. It is best to buy it in small quantities.
Products Helpful For Maintenance
Just like your car, your mower needs regular maintenance to stay in tip top shape. Things like air filters, spark plugs, belts & oil changes. Don't be tempted to use anything but the parts recommended by the manufacturer. Aftermarket parts can reduce your mowers power and efficiency. Using recommended parts will maximize your performance and extend the life of your mower.
Do you know where to locate the model number of your mower? If you do great, If not we can help. Watch this video to learn where to locate the numbers needed to purchase the correct parts for your particular machine.If you would rather us do the maintenance we can do that to. We want to be your own-stop-shop for all you needs during the sale and after the sale.
Did you know that you should not store your trimmer line in direct sun? The hot sun can make your line become dry and brittle. One option is keeping your line damp during the off season. You can soak it in water or just store with a damp rag or paper towel.
Did you know that gas-powered weed trimmers produce dangerous fumes? The fumes from a gas-powered trimmer can be dangerous if inhaled, especially when they’re concentrated. Be sure to use a gas-powered trimmer in an open area or even better wear a safety mask.
Do you struggle installing your weed trimmer line? Watch the attached link with helpful tips.
Check out all the lawn equipment available at
M&D Enterprises at one of our locations or call
You can finance just about anything these days, even T-shirts from your favorite boutique! Although many have never thought of “financing” a graphic tee, it is a pretty popular option right now! We are not in the T-shirt selling business, but we will give you one with the purchase of a mower, and we have financing available for ALL credit types!
If you have great credit, you can walk in to just about any store and select what you want with no worry about if you’ll be approved or not! For these customers, we are able to offer ZERO % interest on mowers and low interest rates on all other products we carry. We have partnered with many different lenders to help our customers secure the financing they need!
If your credit is on the mend or you have just started to establish credit, we can help you too! With lenders that look at more than just your credit score, things like paying your bills on time and a steady source of income can get you approved. The greatest majority of our lenders report your payments, helping you continue to improve your score!
We understand that things happen and some of our customers need a no credit check option, and we have more than one lender for these customers! While you may not be able to purchase a fancy new mower with no credit check, you can purchase any of the buildings we offer! Your investment will not only serve its intended purpose but with on time payments, it will help build your credit and repair your score.
We are excited to be able to offer our customers so many financing options! If you are in the market for a portable building, carport, garage, well house or insulated building, chicken coop, greenhouse, storm shelter, safe room, mower, handheld lawn equipment, or even a Traeger grill, we have lending opportunities for you! Give one of our friendly sales staff a call today, or stop by one of our five locations, and let us help you choose a lender for the items you need!
In this blog, M&D Enterprises & Lawnmower Shops professionals will cover the basics of servicing a lawnmower. We will discuss industry standards as well as M&D processes and procedures and the various services we offer at our stores. We feel education is key in understanding the importance of servicing and maintaining your lawn equipment. While routine maintenance and service may seem costly, it’s always cheaper than the alternative of replacing engines, hydraulics, and other expensive parts that will result if a consistent maintenance plan is not followed.
The average expense of a complete engine service is $160 to $180 depending on the model of your machine. Larger commercial mowers that can require more expensive air filters and more engine oil are a bit more costly to service.
What we do:
When you bring your lawnmower in for our Service Special, we strive to make sure that your equipment is ready to last you through the entire mowing season. Not only do we service the engine, but we will inspect the mower to make sure you have good blades, spindles, belts, and pulleys. No one enjoys taking their equipment to the shop more than once a year. So we examine the machine thoroughly to try our best to locate any future, potential problems. If belts are worn or spindle bearings are noisy, we will reach out to you and see if you wish to have these items replaced so they don’t leave you stranded during the mowing season when they fail. If your blades can be sharpened we ask if you prefer we do that, and if they are past the point of sharpening we offer to replace them if you prefer that.
We like to cover these items and spend the needed time to get your machine ready for the season during our service special period held in the winter and early spring while our mechanics have ample time to fix them. It’s best we do this rather than waiting until summer when we may be as much as 2 weeks out on getting a mower in the shop due to all the work we pick up once the mowing season starts. This wait time happens due to those who failed to get their machines in during the service special time period and waited until the busy time of the mowing season for us to work on them, or due to impromptu break downs.
How often should you service your machine:
Industry professionals recommend that you service the engine on your mower every year due to our harsh, dry, dusty, mowing environment. They also recommend servicing your hydraulic system every other year or every 200 hours if you are a commercial mower or mowing more than that per year.
What is included in the service special?
When your mower comes to M&D for the service special we will service the engine. This includes changing the air filter, oil filter and fuel filter, new spark plugs and fresh oil. Once again as mentioned above we will give your mower a full examination to make sure no other parts are needed to maintain your equipment.
The price of servicing your engine is much cheaper than replacing it due to a lack of maintenance. Just the cost of an engine can run you $800-$3000, and that does not include the shop hours of labor that it can take to remove and replace the bad engine.
Hydraulic System Service:
Just as you should maintain the engine on your mower the hydros, (hydraulic drive/steering system on zero turn mowers) If serviceable, the hydraulic system should be maintained as well. It is recommended to service the hydros on your mower the first time at 75 hours and then every 200 hours or two years after that. A Hydro service consists of changing the hydraulic oil filters and hydraulic oil. Some smaller residential mowers may not have this option such as the Hustler Raptor, Bigdog Alpha, or Snapper Tractor style mowers. These smaller mowers have a sealed hydro and fluid cannot be changed. Failure to maintain your hydros can be very costly to replace and will void any warranty you have. One Hydro can cost $1300- $2500 depending on the model of your mower.
Depending on the model of mower you have a hydraulic service that can range in price from $150 to $200 from residential to commercial machines. More expensive filters and larger quantities of fluids are the key factors in the increased pricing on large commercial machines.
Pickup and Delivery:
Now that you have some idea about what we do when your equipment is in the shop, let’s talk about getting the mower to us. Equipment can be dropped off by you the customer at any of the four locations, Canton, Weatherford, Seiling, or the Main Street store in Woodward.
Not able to drop the equipment off?
Maybe you don’t have a trailer or you work during the day and it’s not easy for you to get it to us. We offer pickup and delivery. We charge $25 in town and out of town is $1 per mile from our store to the mower’s location. This fee helps us pay for the fuel in the truck and the driver needed to get us your equipment. This charge is a one time fee per service and gets your equipment picked up and brought back to you. If you drop your mower off at one of our satellite stores then there is no charge to get it to our service centers and back to the store you delivered it to.
Are you a DIY type of person? (Do It Yourself)
That’s great as well, it just needs to be done. At M&D Enterprises & Lawnmower Shops we offer all the parts you need to do the job. We sell them individually or in extremely convenient service kits. These kits from the various engine manufacturers such as Kohler and Kawasaki include Oil, Oil Filter, Air Filter, and Pre Filter, Spark Plugs and Fuel Filter, And vary in costs from $45 to $90.
Learn more about our service special by following the link below!
Customers are the heart of any small business and we believe that our customers are the very best!
With locations in Woodward (2), Seiling, Canton and Weatherford, and lots for viewing buildings in Fariview and Shattuck, we are proud to offer our products across NW Oklahoma. Zero turn lawnmowers and portable buildings are the products we are best known for, but we offer a wide variety of items. Traeger pellet grills, rubs, spices and accessories, Rtic coolers, Echo and Redmax handheld equipment, Hustler and Briggs & Stratton pressure washers and generators, parts, All Steel carports and garages, insulated buildings, and of course service for these mentioned items are all part of the line up at M&D Enterprises!
Customer service is our top priority! While in one of our stores you may often hear the sales staff ask a customer to leave a Google review with their buying experience. Google reviews help potential customers feel comfortable about their choice to do business with M&D. Do you read business reviews before you make a purchase? What about after a purchase, do you leave a review? Most business owners appreciate your feedback!
We hope that all of our customers have a positive experience any time they are in our stores, and we would love to hear about it in a Google or Facebook review! If you have an unpleasant experience, we would like to hear about that, too, in a personal message, so we can make certain that the issue is corrected.
We also love to share pictures of our customers with their M&D products! Feel free to share them with us by sending a message to our Facebook page, and we will share them on the page or in a blog!
When you think of M&D Enterprises your first thought is most likely MOWERS! Although we offer a large variety of products, mowers are where it all started, and we have something for everyone! Zero turn mowers, tractor style mowers with a steering wheel, rear engine riders with a steering wheel and walk behind (push) mowers can be found at all five of our locations!
A lot has happened in the world of zero turn mowers since the first commercial unit hit the market in 1949! Things like Smooth Track Steering, Flex Forks and My Ride Suspension! If you are in the market for a mower, residential or commercial, we are a one stop shop! Mowers and accessories can be purchased, installed and serviced at M&D Enterprises.
Is mowing a dreaded chore for you, or do you enjoy it? I love to put my earbuds in and soak up the sunshine while mowing. I also love the look of a freshly mowed lawn. If you are just the opposite, a zero turn mower may be perfect for you as it can cut your mowing time drastically!
Do you have a small lawn or a gate that you must go through to get to your back yard? We offer deck sizes as small as 34” on select zero turns. Snapper offers a 28” deck on a rear engine rider and up to a 48” cut on a tractor style mower.
Need something to mower the pasture with, or a large commercial property? Hustler offers a 104” cut! You can cover quite a bit of ground cutting 104 inches at a time! We also offer large walk behind or stand on commercial mowers.
Our website is full of information about each of these options, and our sales staff are always happy to answer questions. If you are in the market for a new mower, stop by one of our five locations a take one for a spin!
“U-Haul is an American moving equipment and storage rental company, based in Phoenix, Arizona, that has been in operation since 1945. The company was founded by Leonard Shoen in Ridgefield, Washington, who began it in the garage owned by his wife's family, and expanded it through franchising with gas stations.” Wikipedia
Moving across town, across the state, or across the country, U-Haul is the most widely known option. Offering vehicles that range from a 10’ moving truck to a 26’ moving truck that can hold the contents of a three to four-bedroom home. Cargo and utility trailers are available as well, to pull behind your vehicle or a U-Haul truck.
Not sure what size truck you will need? No worries! Your local U-Haul dealer can suggest a vehicle for you based on the size of your home!
Car hauling options are also available with U-Haul. The most commonly rented equipment is the tow dolly. This is a low-cost option for front wheel drive vehicles. If you are traveling a long distance,the auto transport is the better option. We do suggest calling one of our locations to verify that U-Haul will allow your towing combination before making the drive to one Woodward, Canton or Weatherford.
The most frequent question we are asked is “What will I need to rent a truck?”
The obvious answer is your personal information and your drivers license. We also need to know where you are moving to, any extra miles you anticipate driving, and we will need two references. If you are renting a car towing device, we will need to know all of the details of the vechile you will be towing, as well as towing with.
Although cash is accepted as a form of payment, you will be required to leave a refundable deposit. Debit and credit card users will not require a deposit.
Trucks are rented with a daily and per-mile rate. Cargo trailer, utility trailer, tow dolly, and auto transport are calculated per day and the estimated miles that the equipment will travel.
Need a U-Haul but not local? Give us a call, we can still make the reservation for you! That’s right, we can do it all over the phone! We will give you the details of where to pick up your equipment, it is truly that simple!!